Shackley, however, has assembled considerable evidence for the reality of the so-called Almas (plural form: Almasti), primitive men who closely resemble Neanderthal Man, or at least what we think Neanderthal Man looked like.
Even today, sightings of these creatures are rather common; and several scientists have seen them.
One incident occurred in 1917, when the Reds were pursuing White Army forces through the Pamirs.
The troops of Major General Mikail Stephanovitch Topilsky shot an Almas as he was emerging from a cave.
"The body," continued Topilski, "belonged to a male creature 165-170 cm [about 5 1/2 feet] tall, elderly or even old, judging by the grayish color of the hair in several places.
The chest was covered with brownish hair and the belly with grayish hair. The hair was longer but sparser on the chest and close-cropped and thick on the belly. In general the hair was very thick, without any under fur.
There was least hair on the buttocks, from which fact our doctor deduced that the creature sat like a human being. There was most hair on the hips. The knees were completely bare of hair and had callous growths on them. The whole foot including the sole was quite hairless and was covered by hard brown skin. The hair got thinner near the hand, and the palms had none at all but only callous skin."
Topilski added: "The color of the face was dark, and the creature had neither beard nor mustache. The temples were bald and the back of the head was covered by thick, matted hair. The dead creature lay with its eyes open and its teeth bared. The eyes were dark and the teeth were large and even and shaped like human teeth.
The forehead was slanting and the eyebrows were very powerful. The protruding jawbones made the face resemble the Mongol type of face. The nose was flat, with a deeply sunk bridge. The ears were hairless and looked a little more pointed than a human being's with a longer lobe.
The lower jaw was very massive. The creature had a very powerful chest and well developed muscles. The arms were of normal length, the hands were slightly wider and the feet much wider and shorter than man's."
In some instances the Almasti have even associated with modern man; and cases of successful interbreeding have been reported.
After reviewing the mountains of evidence, Shackley feels that the Almasti are very likely surviving Neanderthals, because the physical characteristics of the Almasti and reconstructed Neanderthals are basically identical.
This long review article also discusses the many Chuchunaa sightings from northern Russia -- perhaps another relict population of Neanderthals.
(Shackley, Myra; "The Case for Neanderthal Survival: Fact, Fiction or Faction?" Antiquity, 56:31, 1982.)